Alright folks? I've just bought my first-ever hi-fi set. It was an impulse buy, but I've been reading this magazine for some time and I had a general idea of what I wanted. Also with me being a student, I tend to do what most students do, with all my listening done via my computer (a fine MacBook Pro I must add). All my tracks are ripped at 256 AAC and above.
Why was it an impulse buy, you might ask? Well I found a pair of the Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom going for £49 (RRP £109) and couldn't resist that, especially not after the rave reviews it got in What Hi-Fi.
After buying it, I realised that I was being an idiot because I did not own an amplifier to drive it (don't we all, when we make impulse buys!). So I went over to a shop and was recommended the Marantz PM4001. I didn't like the sound because I thought it sounded rather harsh and recessed at the same time. I then asked to audition a Rotel RA-05, but was told that it would sound too bright for my speakers. However I insisted on trying it, and absolutely loved it! I got it for £300 instead of the usual £350. Then I got the Chord Carnival Silver Plus cable for £5.50/m (no surprise there, I checked the price online).
I've just finished listening to an excellent recording of Rossini's Matilde di Shabran featuring Juan Diego Flórez, and I must say that I am utterly impressed by the clarity and immediate sound—it's almost like being at the opera in person, in the best seats in the house. Next I tried a classic recording of Strauss' Metamorphosen (Karajan, BPO), which, despite being nearly 30 years old, sounded amazing. I could actually tell the instruments apart within the thick string writing.
My only reservation about my system is that its bass isn't the most impressive, and dance tracks like Fedde le Grand's The Creeps lack that bass kick in its rhythm; it sounded almost anaemic. With a house party looming (in time for the reading week), I am looking to get a budget but decent subwoofer that would suit my setup. I am honestly shocked at the prices which "budget" subwoofers sell for. 300 quid is crazy, especially for a poor student who's just splashed £380 on his setup. I was wondering if any of you have suggestions on a suitable subwoofer?
Also, as I've mentioned earlier, I tend to do all my listening via my computer. I've got an optical out on my mac, and thought that I should get a digital-to-analogue converter. The dealer at the shop said that he doesn't think it's necessary for me as I'm on a tight budget. I was wondering if there'd be an improvement in sound if I add one to my system, and if so, what would you recommend? Cheers!